Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

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Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States

Yes, completely legal to everyone
25
27%
Yes but with restrictions
31
33%
No, not at all
36
39%
None of the above
1
1%
 
Total votes : 93

Unread postby TheGreatNads » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:01 pm

Kong Wen wrote:To be quite frank, I'm surprised a good capitalist like football11f isn't in marijuana's corner, given the economic benefits it could bring to big corporations.


Not true, in my opinion, that's the whole reason it isn't legal. Anyone can easily grow marijuana in their backyard, so corporations can't make much profit out of it. But cigarettes are another story. Capitalism is the only serious reason one can give to justify not legalizing marijuana while having cigarettes, a much worse killer.
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Unread postby Seeker of Light » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:57 pm

TheGreatNads wrote:
Not true, in my opinion, that's the whole reason it isn't legal. Anyone can easily grow marijuana in their backyard, so corporations can't make much profit out of it. But cigarettes are another story. Capitalism is the only serious reason one can give to justify not legalizing marijuana while having cigarettes, a much worse killer.


Gee, don't you think plenty of people could grow tobacco just as easily in their back yards? By your logic that would mean cigs would be illegal too, because they aren't profitable enough.

I think the reason the legal battle rages is because members of the US government consider marijuana to be a substance which has many of the same effects as alcohol. There is still alot of carnage because of irresponsible alcohol use, and I don't think they want to add to it with people under the influence of another drug.
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Unread postby TheGreatNads » Fri Jun 11, 2004 5:20 pm

Seeker of Light wrote:Gee, don't you think plenty of people could grow tobacco just as easily in their back yards? By your logic that would mean cigs would be illegal too, because they aren't profitable enough.


No, it's a lot easier to grow marijuana than it is tobacco. For one thing, tobacco is much more susceptible to attack from insects(marijuana the most one could be threatened by are probably mites, aphids, and thrips, tobacco has a wide-range of insects it can be attacked by), because of that farmers have to deprive pests of their tobacco plants on alternate years just to keep the population down, and for that matter, it's much more susceptible to bacterial, fungul, and viral diseases. The setting of the tobacco is a labor-intensive process you will find no precedent to in growing marjuana. One has to be extremely tedious just in ensuring the tiny seeds of tobacco don't dry, and the same is true of the curing process of tobacco in comparison to marijuana. The soil has to extremely well-drained. And it's hell if you want to turn them into cigarettes, cigars, or pipe tobacco. So again, people can grow tobacco if they really want to, but it takes a lot more knowledge, dedication, and time, virtually anyone can grow marijuana without knowing or even doing much. Kids used to grow it in the back of a local high school around where I live until too many people found out about it. Typically only specialists in the area can successfully grow tobacco, and for all sorts of reasons they usually do it for tobacco corporations.
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Unread postby phenomenal17 » Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:45 pm

I understand where you're coming from Book of Faith, but people who kill themselves with alcohol are opting to drink, making a personal lifestyle choice. It doesn't matter if it's destructive- it's a personal decision. Heart disease kills more people than anything in the US, and no matter how many studies link obesity to heart problems, no one is calling for legislation outlawing lifestyles that create obesity.

Football11f pointed out earlier that suicide is illegal- yes, it is. Well, I'm pretty sure it's illegal in most places, but I might be wrong. Anyway though, that doesn't mean it should be illegal. The fact that something is sanctioned by the law doesn't mean that it ought to be; the fact that something is outlawed doesn't mean that it ought to be. Slavey was once legal, and yet, only the most ignorant among us would contend that slavery was right. For a short period of time, it was illegal to drink. The consequence? Organized crime had an easy market and poor-quality alcohol killed people. Currently, marijuana is illegal. The consequence? Gangs have a business and poor-quality weed hurts people. By what justification have we legislated against weed? Because certain people think that other people shouldn't be allowed to smoke it. I don't think people should eat meat, but do I call for legislation against the sale and consumption of meat? Nope- I've made a personal lifestyle decision, and though I'd be happy to see everyone else stop eating meat, I have never tried to force anyone to abstain. If someone opts to make a personal lifestyle decision ending their personal lifestyle, what business does the government have in preventing it?

As far as second-hand smoke is concerned- if that amounts to a reason to outlaw weed, then we ought to first concern ourselves with outlawing the biggest polluters. When you outlaw huge, polluting factories and gas-powered cars, start talking to me about second-hand smoke.
...brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situation.

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Unread postby Liu He » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:10 pm

The anti-Marijuana postings in this forum really demonstrate a severe need for individuals in the United States to start being responsible for their *own education*. Primary and secondary school are only useful for learning the point of view of your government/society at large -- the education gained from such an experience in NO way represents a full, broad, objective representation of the facts on ANY matter (history, sociology, economics, etc. NONE of this is covered in enough depth to really grasp all of the facts of a matter without additional research -- regardless of the point being made).

Basically, there is a TREMENDOUS body of research available on marijuana. A relatively infinitessimal amount of the research available worldwide points to negative effects in Marijuana, and as I pointed out in my other post, quite a few of these research efforts are clearly NOT scientific undertakings when the methodology used is examined (ie. no double-blind studies, etc.).

Those negative effects from Marijuana that have thus far been *proven* are FAR less harmful than the proven harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol. There is a *small* amount of truth in the assertion that the number of studies on Marijuana simply haven't *revealed* these negative effects.

However, this truth is a double standard... the assertion is that the myriad minutiae effects on the brain of Marijuana use are largely unknown... however, we are still today discovering many of the additional negative effects that alcohol and tobacco can have (both in the short and long term) on the brain as well... in fact, humans are still trying to discover just what the effect of SLEEP is on the brain, much less actual FOREIGN substances (food, water, drugs, etc. -- these ALL have effects on the brain... many of which are understood, and even MORE of which are NOT).

As to the individual who was equating smoking Marijuana while driving to drinking and driving... that is simply a FALLACIOUS COMPARISON. The bottom line is that WAY before a Marijuana user ingests enough Marijuana to impair them physically to the point where they would fail an alcohol test (ie. walk a straight line, touch your nose, etc.) the Marijuana user would into a deep and relaxing sleep.

The chances of someone actually driving around, smoking a joint, and becoming so tired that they fall asleep at the wheel are no larger, or smaller, than the chances of someone driving around, and *incidentally* becoming so tired that they fall asleep at the wheel. Why? Because it is scientifically demonstrated that even with the STRONGEST government research Marijuana (which is WAY stronger than the stuff that is in the streets coming up from Mexico -- the most common Marijuana available, according to DEA sources), the amount needed to cause physical and mental incompetence is WAY beyond the amount needed to cause an individual to fall asleep.

And while some individuals choose to drive when they should be sleeping somewhere, you will probably never be able to find any research to prove that "people who drive when they should be sleeping use Marijuana". The most that can be said is that there are more than likely Marijuana users as members of this population of people who will drive when over tired.

And, in fact, if you are going to draw a correlation from Marijuana & driving to X & driving, make "X" = to "Being Overtired" and you will have made the statement at least SOMEWHAT less accurate. The caveat exists because casual usage of Marijuana does NOT cause an individual to become over-tired, and can, in fact, cause a boost in awareness and energy levels, as others have noted here.

The issue of becoming more aware vs. becoming a dope rests with the individual, I am afraid. As with the individuals I point out in my post second to last, there are a lot of BRILLIANT people out there who smoke Marijuana, and have NO ill effects from REGULAR usage over a greater than 30 year period! This is certainly not a scientific finding -- unlike the study of Koptic Christians in Egypt (who tend to be HEAVY users -- more than 5+ times a day, generally) which found that they were a HEALTHIER population than the double-blind population used in the study.


Anyhow -- I think that the individual who does not wish to be subjected to 2nd hand Marijuana smoke has a legitimate concern -- to a certain extent.
I will have more sympathy for your position when I am no longer being subjected to the pollution of automobiles and industrialization in general, which are far more serious health threats overall than tobacco OR marijuana. In any case, I do not believe that this should be a large factor. In more and more places in the U.S., tobacco usage is being restricted to particular public areas, or home use, and cannot even be smoked in an outdoor public area anymore... why should Marijuana not be available for people to use at home?

In short, while the United States government continues to ignore the research from the rest of the world, and the burgeoning amount of research in our own country, while continuing to fund studies that are FROM THE ONSET NON-SCIENTIFIC IN NATURE to use as fodder for it's drug war commercials, the rest of the world is moving on toward trying to understand this HIGHLY USEFUL plant which has been in use among human societies for more than 3000 years for a variety of reasons, including it's extremely high quality fibres that are used in rope, clothing, sail cloth, it's proteins (found in the seeds) which are EXTREMELY soluble in the human body, and thusly, one of the most energy rich forms of food known to man, it's THC content, which has been a proven NATURAL and easily dosage controllable form of pain control (unlike it's synthesized form, Marinol, which it is quite easy to overdose on), etc.

In fact, just the other day a family member in England informed me that they are going to allow English soccer fans to smoke Marijuana before matches in an effort to encourage them to smoke instead of drinking alcohol. This is because -- unlike the propaganda of the early 20th century, which claimed that smoking Marijuana made black men rape white women, and made otherwise good young white people listen to jazz, dance "dirty", and hang out with blacks -- Marijuana actually makes people LESS violent, unlike alcohol.

Anyhow -- there is a vast body of information out there available. If you start, and stop, your search at "DARE.com", then you will learn no more about Marijuana then you would if you were researching World War II, and you merely visited a pro-Axis POV website.

In short -- Marijuana should NEVER be used in the same sentence with cocaine, heroin, or crystal methamphetamines, and if you follow the vast body of research to it's various conclusions, you may not become pro-Marijuana, and you may even remain anti-Marijuana, but you will certainly understand that Marijuana is far FAR FAR from the comical image portrayed by the Barry McCaffrey.
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Unread postby Liu He » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:26 pm

Just a follow up post to note that my own personal opinion of Marijuana is thus...

Couldn't care less about it, smoking or otherwise. I don't think that adolescents who cannot drink alcohol should be smoking Marijuana, but that is about where I draw the line.

I am, however, VERY pro-HEMP (which is the Marijuana plant itself, minus the flowers, which is what actually contains the THC... there are also "hemp plants" that are basically THC-less Marijuana). Hemp, before the HUGE propaganda efforts of Hearst, was widely used, as I noted, for rope, clothing, sail cloth, plastics (Henry Ford experimented with hemp derived plastics to GREAT success), food, etc. And it is much better than almost all of it's competitors in this role because you can derive the same amount of paper pulp from an acre of Hemp that grew in 3-4 months as you can from a grove of trees that spent 10-20 years growing (depending on the variety of tree)! Hemp can also be grown and harvested more than one time per year, depending on the climate.

Also -- just a note about Hemp cloth... about 99.99% of the "Hemp clothing" available in the United States today is made of a coarse fibre that is hardly a good example of the fine linens that can be made from hemp fibre. The difference is, of course, partially due to the actual VARIETY of hemp that is being grown (ie. one that tends to grow larger, faster, and more coarse -- historically more useful for twine, rope, paper, and other "fibre" requiring applications, vs. another that tends to grow a finer, smaller, and less coarse plant fibre, historically used for fine linen cloth, etc.)...

Anyhow -- just wanted to point out that you can be Pro-Hemp/Marijuana without having any particular point of view (pro OR con) about the actual smoking/ingesting of the plant for the purposes of "getting high" at all!

In fact, you can be Pro-Hemp for many of the other reasons that I have listed, and still be against people smoking the plant for recreational/medicinal purposes, etc.

Just wanted to point this out as yet another aspect of how researching this topic can broaden your view point of the alternatives (ie. Marijuana/Hemp is not even merely at the yes/no/Medicinal level of discourse that is commonly believed... the REAL coup would be to use it for INDUSTRIAL/AGRICULTURAL and medicinal uses.. the rest could be debated for a million years for all I care... but using it in these other ways would really benefit humanity as a whole!)

Peace to all.
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Unread postby Book of Faith » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:34 pm

phenomenal17 wrote:I understand where you're coming from Book of Faith, but people who kill themselves with alcohol are opting to drink, making a personal lifestyle choice. It doesn't matter if it's destructive- it's a personal decision. Heart disease kills more people than anything in the US, and no matter how many studies link obesity to heart problems, no one is calling for legislation outlawing lifestyles that create obesity.


I know, and people that would kill themselves with marijuana would be opting to do that as well, so why give them the option?
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Unread postby Liu He » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:41 pm

Book of Faith wrote:
phenomenal17 wrote:I understand where you're coming from Book of Faith, but people who kill themselves with alcohol are opting to drink, making a personal lifestyle choice. It doesn't matter if it's destructive- it's a personal decision. Heart disease kills more people than anything in the US, and no matter how many studies link obesity to heart problems, no one is calling for legislation outlawing lifestyles that create obesity.


I know, and people that would kill themselves with marijuana would be opting to do that as well, so why give them the option?


Uhm... because the only way to "kill yourself with Marijuana" is to combine this with an action that would kill you anyway, such as "jumping off of a cliff" or "driving into a brick wall at 80 MPH" or "shooting yourself in the head"...

There is not even a SINGLE DEMONSTRABLE CASE of death due to Marijuana (as opposed to some other, over-arching cause -- such as driving off a cliff). Not a SINGLE one! This is why all of the drug propaganda about Marijuana focuses on "ruined lives"... ignoring the fact that people seem to be able to ruin their lives perfectly well without marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, or anything/one else at ALL in the mix.

"Why give them the option", you ask? Well, basically, why give people the option to do ANYTHING that contains risk... why not just remove ALL freedom and turn this into a slave state...? Oh -- Oh yeah! It's because we live in the United States of America, and we shouldn't take rights away from people merely because we don't approve of what those people are doing.
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Unread postby phenomenal17 » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:58 pm

Book of Faith wrote:
phenomenal17 wrote:I understand where you're coming from Book of Faith, but people who kill themselves with alcohol are opting to drink, making a personal lifestyle choice. It doesn't matter if it's destructive- it's a personal decision. Heart disease kills more people than anything in the US, and no matter how many studies link obesity to heart problems, no one is calling for legislation outlawing lifestyles that create obesity.


I know, and people that would kill themselves with marijuana would be opting to do that as well, so why give them the option?


It's not a question of giving them the option, but instead, a question of taking the option away. The government doesn't grant rights- it provides for the security to use rights. In so doing, certain rights are sometimes taken away in the name of preserving more important freedoms, for ensuring the the health of the governed, and for meeting any other needs the governed might have. Taking away someone's right to smoke weed doesn't serve any essential purpose of government. It might be better for people not to smoke marijuana, but it's also better for people not to eat french fries. However, while we allow people to be responsible for their own well-being wherever french fries are concerned, we don't allow the same freedom for marijuana use. The only reason the government might have for restricted marijuana use is that people who use it might be more inclined the endanger the well-being of others. If that's the case, penalties could be assigned to people who get high and drive, for example, and those penalties could be equal to current penalties handed out just for possession.

I don't think, however, that people tend to get stoned and go rob banks or kill people or anything like that. In my experience, people usually follow pot consumption with things that don't require a lot of action- video games, listening to music, watching TV, whatever. If anything, those under the influence of weed are less likely to do anything harmful to other people. To be honest, I think the best argument against legalization is that smoking it makes people lazy, but people are already lazy. Besides, legalizing it probably wouldn't increase the use that much.

Also, the money given to law enforcement agencies to catch pot smokers could be funneled into other programs or could be used to fight crimes with real victims. Personally, I'd rather have cops catching bank robbers, child molesters, murderers, and rapists rather than busting in on a stoner as he's finishing Gran Turismo on the hardest setting. I guess that's just me though.
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Unread postby Iain » Sat Jun 12, 2004 1:40 am

As to the individual who was equating smoking Marijuana while driving to drinking and driving... that is simply a FALLACIOUS COMPARISON.
I was that individual you so kindly mentioned there, and trust me my comments are not fallacious in the least, mind you I am only speaking from a non-marijuana users point of view.
Liu He wrote: The bottom line is that WAY before a Marijuana user ingests enough Marijuana to impair them physically to the point where they would fail an alcohol test (ie. walk a straight line, touch your nose, etc.) the Marijuana user would into a deep and relaxing sleep.
Different people have different tolerance levels with alcohol and marijuana, some people become impaired drivers after barely a glass of alcohol, and some people are affected by just one joint, after all what would be the point of smoking the stuff if it didnt affect you in some way.
Liu He wrote:
"Why give them the option", you ask? Well, basically, why give people the option to do ANYTHING that contains risk... why not just remove ALL freedom and turn this into a slave state...? Oh -- Oh yeah! It's because we live in the United States of America, and we shouldn't take rights away from people merely because we don't approve of what those people are doing.
Freedom to damage children by mothers smoking it in pregency?
http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/m ... BCPIPBJNCL
Freedom to impair your own mind? They have found that people who used cannabis by age 15 were four times as likely to have a diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder (a milder version of schizophrenia) at age 26 than non-users.
http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/m ... hrenia.jsp
Freedom to....I could go on dredging up as many points against marijuana use as you could for it, suffice to say that people hate being told what not to do and prohibition never seems to work so sometime in the near future I can see it being legalised, I am not happy about that since like alcohol people do not know how to properly handle themselfs around impairing substances and making marijuana legal will only add problems in new laws needing to be passed and what consitutes being impaired really.

Liu He wrote:Anyhow -- I think that the individual who does not wish to be subjected to 2nd hand Marijuana smoke has a legitimate concern -- to a certain extent.
I will have more sympathy for your position when I am no longer being subjected to the pollution of automobiles and industrialization in general, which are far more serious health threats overall than tobacco OR marijuana.
I actually moved from the main city to the suburbs to get away from the industrial and automotive pollution that seems to plague all cities, the problem is it is difficult to work and live without being close to a major city, I have no choice in the surrounding pollution short of moving up to the wilderness and becomeing a farmer, that distinctive aroma of B.C. Bud is one that I would rather not have to experience on a daily basis if it became legal, but then I guess I am in a minority here. :(
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